Thunderbird Resorts has offloaded its ‘entire economic interest and management rights in its Philippines and related British Virgin Islands operations’ to Magnum Leisure Holdings for $26.5m.
The deal includes casinos at Poro Point and San Fernando. Last year Thunderbirds invested P563m on expanding the casino and hotel business inside the Poro Point Freeport Zone to help drive tourism in Northern Luzon. With the sale of the Philippines, the group said it now had fresh capital to further reduce the group’s reported consolidated debt by at least $9.2m and to invest in building cash flows in Peru, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Thunderbird has also executed a 36-month non-compete agreement with Magnum in the Philippines.
The Group had previously announced in August 2011 it would enter into a joint venture with Solar Entertainment Corporation to co-own the Philippines operations. The Group’s decision to sell rather than to jointly own the Philippine operations was based on further strategic analysis and determined as the best decision to building shareholder value.
While the Philippines represented approximately 45 per cent of the Group’s global property EBITDA, the net price plus debt reduction is equal to approximately $1.39 per share or 155 per cent of the Group’s 30-day average price of $0.90 per share. Thunderbird continues to own gaming, hotel, food and beverage and real estate businesses in Peru, Costa Ric aand Nicaragua with approximately 1,700 employees. These casinos boast 2,885 slots and 616 table positions divided among 19 operations with an annual visitor count exceeding 2.5m per year.
Thunderbird stated: “With the sale of the Philippines, the Group now has fresh capital to further reduce debt and to invest in building cash flows in Peru, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. We will continue to focus on gaming as our core business. We thank the many dedicated employees and associates who helped Thunderbird to grow in the Philippines. We wish them and Magnum great success. Finally, our special thanks to Angel Sueiro who has resigned as an officer of Thunderbird Resorts Inc. and its affiliates. By remaining with the Philippines operations under new ownership, he facilitated the transaction. Angel Sueiro dedicated many years of service to Thunderbird and we wish him and his family well.”